STEVENSVILLE — United Communities Volunteer Fire Department and the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to 122 Mallard Drive at 2:05 p.m. Thursday for a report of a possible military ordnance, said Scott Svoboda, public information officer for the fire department. United Communities VFD sent two members in a utility truck to confirm the report and help secure the scene. They called for the Maryland State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad.
Deputy State Fire Marshal John Grothe, a bomb technician, said a man was helping clean out his in-laws attached garage when he came across the ordnance and called 911. The single family residence is owned by Julianne Kline, according to the fire marshal’s report.
Grothe identified the ordnance as a World War II era rocket, specifically a U.S. made round designed to be fired from a shoulder-mounted bazooka.
The bomb technician conducted diagnostics and determined the round was inert, with no explosive component.
The man who found the ordnance said the family thought his father-in-law’s father probably brought it back from overseas after the war, Grothe said.
“He was not expecting to find this in the garage,” Grothe said.”But at the end of the day everyone was OK.”
Svoboda said the fire department gets several calls a year for found military ordnance, “and they’re not always inert.”
He advised anyone who finds something that looks like an explosive “not to touch it, not to move it, just back away and call 911.” In this case it looked like a “little missile.”
Grothe concurred. He, too, said not to touch it and to notify authorities.
“We run quite a few of these calls,” he said. “They often occur when an older family member passes away” and someone finds a device stored away in an attic or a garage. Sometimes watermen dredge them up from the Chesapeake Bay.
“We’re always happy to come out and take a look,” Grothe said.
After the bomb squad has determined the ordnance to be inert or has rendered it harmless, they take it away to be disposed of properly — and to avoid be called back out for the same device in the future, he said.